QuiteLike Meal Box

Here’s a food post, which is good because my political advocacy brain went off last week and I’m tired and it was NOT a good week to try a more intense meal box, and change is hard and the meal box was tasty, but out of my budget, so we won’t get it til the next awesome offer comes through.

So, clicked on an offer somewhere which meant I got four QuiteLike meals for less than the price of six EveryPlate ones, when it’d normally be twice as much. The box arrived while I was out so myย  partner unpacked it into the fridge – the meats, sauces and yoghurt were in a chill pack, while the rest of the ingredients for the meals were in separate bags for each meal. This is definitely more approachable than them all being together like in the EveryPlate box. It did mean we just put them into the fridge though, whether the ingredients were needing to be chilled or not, as the experience with these boxes is some veges don’t last the week if you don’t. I could have gotten away with them going in the cupboard since it’s winter and my kitchen won’t be above 15 degrees, but no way I’d risk it in summer.

The first meal I made was the Sesame chicken and stir fry veges and rice. The recipe listed two sticks of celery, but as there was one, and it was rather large, I assume that was on purpose. But it threw me a little. Later in the week there was one potato listed but two sent so I used the two. Another thing I ran into was using the wrong sized sachet of sesame oil – probably wouldn’t have done that if I’d unpacked everything, or those had been in the dry ingredients bag since they really didn’t need to be in the fridge?

Look at me prepping ahead! I read and re-read the recipe steps for these, since they were new to me, and I wanted to follow them sat least for the first time. I do take liberties now with the EveryPlate meals as I’ve made some of them so often, or I’m adding in veges to stretch them to three people – These all easily went to three people, which would have annoyed me if I was cooking for two, that’s one of the issues I had with HelloFresh when I was last getting it – most meals were huge servings, easily for three in some cases, good I guess if you want leftovers for lunch the next day, but I have to be expecting that for it to be a good thing for me.

Three white bowls of chicken story fry and rice with forks and spoons
Sesame chicken – yum!

The quality upgrade of the meat was the most noticeable part over the EveryPlate meals. The Chicken Thigh was incredibly juicy and still had bone (though I didn’t cut out all the gristle, sorry Bruce!), and the little vacuum sealed packs were peel open, so less messy. There was paper lining the mince, which I didn’t notice the first pack so fished out of the frypan.

Beef mince biryani with a wedge of lemon and yoghurt in white bowls
Beef mince biryani

The three-hour musamum beef was a novelty, and very tasty. Again, not the week for me to be doing a three hour meal, but I chose it and it was delish. The fresh ginger for a change in the meals was noticeable over the crushed ginger that usually comes packed with my regular boxes. I should have simmered this down more before serving but it is what it is ๐Ÿ™‚

Three white bowls of mummamum beef and rice
Mussamum beef

I found it odd to pack a portion of cabbage and then list in the ingredients as “1/2 wedge of green cabbage”. I really wasn’t certain what that meant so I just trimmed it and chopped it and threw most of it in. Since I was dishing up for three, extra cabbage wouldn’t help and what else was I gonna do with any leftover? My reckoning is if you’re going to send a certain cut portion of something why ask for less of that? I also didn’t like that I’d had the onion in the fridge, while I was cutting it up, I’m used to it room temp. I’m sure it doesn’t matter but add.

All very “Asian” meals, they do offer more western options but these are what appealed to me. I haven’t ordered a second week, I’m actually doing a Marley Spoon box this week since they also had a coupon that meant 6 of their meals were the same as an Everyplate box, so I’ll let you know how that goes too. Again, the QuiteLike meals are very nice, better quality than the EveryPlate (and they’d better be at the price), but out of my price range for now.

Do you use meal boxes like these? Which is your favourite or suits your family best?

Hey, have you tried shopping at Aldi? (and other unhelpful advice given to people on welfare)

Thanks, Choice and Labor, for letting us know that it’s mostly cheaper to shop at Aldi. They’re promising to report back quarterly on that basket of goods, which is about as harsh a whip the current government is going to take to Colesworth and their duopoly. Telling us what we already know.

Labor (the party currently in power) helping out during the cost of living crisis

Aldi is certainly not a secret any more. Some people are still pleasantly surprised when they finally go there, but noone on a low income hasn’t considered it, if it’s anywhere nearby.

But defining nearby and accessible when it comes to a grocery store is difficult. Personally,ย  I drive, have good mobility, my brain works well enough most days and I have a lot of time. So that brings more options into play.

But many of my friends don’t drive. They can’t, or they can’t afford to have or keep a car. They might be reliant on public transport or taxis to do their groceries. They may even struggle with that, with Cole or Woolies delivery being the only true option for their grocery shop for a variety of reasons.

I know many people who can’t deal with the Aldi environment, whether the layout, the shelves, not knowing what’s not going to be in stock and whether you’ll have to do a secondary shop at the other place anyway.

I prefer to shop Aldi alone, a little distraction throws me off and I tend to just go for my targeted items, avoiding the middle aisle unless I have money and energy to burn on a browse. If something’s not in stock, like ham or bacon, I may just not get it that week rather than going to the nearby Woolies, because I just want to go home after one trip around the store.

Then there’s click and collect – an amazing brain saver, you can shop in the comfort of your home, they bring it to your boot, and you don’t have to go into the store? Sweet deal.

Aldi is not good at all for special dietary needs – need dairy or gluten free? Better off going to the other majors and pay their high prices, at least there will be something there for you. Coeliac disease isn’t a special buy unfortunately.

Nor are other dietary restrictions and sensory overwhelm, all supermarkets are hell in their own ways, but if you know you can get food you’ll eat in a layout you know, your autistic brain will not leave you staring at a wall for the rest of the day because you attempted to do half your shop at Aldi to save $10.

Though that $10? Is a large amount in the budget of a welfare recipient in their country, where $50/day is meant to cover everything and won’t even cover housing in some markets.

Stay safe my frens.

(Oh and the $2 Aldi “aero” peppermint is awesome. Get it if you can and you’re a mint chocolate fan. They have orange and original too, but only for a limited time)

 

(alas I neglected to list some other “helpful tips” people decide to give poor people, feel free to comment with your favourites below!)

Why should we care about poverty?

So I started a short course last night – “Understanding Poverty, Inequality and Social Disadvantage in Australia“. My fees were paid for by AUWU, which was sweet of them, and will help put me on the same page as all the not for profits and their staff doing and writing the course when I’m posting for Nobody Deserves Poverty. Last night’s lecture was a lot of background theory and definitions, I may have glazed over at points when they started talking numbers, but it was good to be able to take time to do readings and put my thoughts into words for a more academic audience, rather than my blog posts or Twitter. Like formulating a response to someone hinting towards personal responsibility for poverty without saying as much in pre discussions. But still bringing myself and my experiences, I mean I was there in the Zoom with my hello kitty fleece and onesies downunder onesie on….

In two weeks Jim’ll have given his budget speech, papers will have their winners and losers, and other parties and organisations will be preparing their responses. And there will be a year til the Federal Election. Which should be interesting, let’s see if Albanese can come back from angering many women on the weekend, not just by lying by lying about lying, and using the “But I’m the primeminister” line which was not at all helpful.

Free coffee!

We were talking in line at the foodbank this morning, since we were there before opening, about how everyone is just extra stressed at the moment, and that how if someone pushes in here or another example was a guy wandering cluelessly in front of the like at Centrelink, you have to be cautious about calling them out on it. Because sometimes you get the oops, I’m sorry, but sometimes you might get punched. If politicians aren’t able to keep their cool with women and model that behaviour, how’s everyone else going?

So, why should we care about poverty? was a question posed at some time last night. Perhaps it’s beyond politicians to care about it because of it being the right thing to do to look after others, but perhaps the possibility of being voted out, of rising unrest among the masses, might make them care. Or they may just try to arrest their way through it.

It’s the start of May, so I’m meant to look back at some of the things I got at the foodbanks last month. It was an up and down month financially here, with the boys struggling to finish a job and finally getting paid for it, and different places being closed for school or public holidays, or simply not having deliveries that week. But there was a great rockmelon, a terrible bottle of vanilla pepsi max that got poured down the sink, and so many breads and crackers.

I also did a lovely roast chicken with veges from OzHarvest. These little bean tubs keep giving, and I still get very excited when there’s bananas! Then we had good paydays, and braved the supermarkets screaming why is everything so expensive and paying because we could this fortnight for the big and little things we’d been holding out on. I finally got olive oil, but I keep forgetting soy sauce.

There’s 10+ days of rain here, so the boys are working between the showers. Occasionally someone stops to look at the boat for sale on the front lawn but moves on. I’m trying to keep up with washing on the racks, still trying to figure the best place for them. I looked at the app for the electricity and estimate on that freaked me out. So while I think there are many better ways than paying the electricity companies money directly to subsidise our bills, I’m really hoping, personally, for it to continue for another year lol. I’ve said before I don’t see how they could end it before the election, they’ve cornered themselves on that one.

So, happy May Day.

March Munchies

Another month has gone, hey? Easter’s already happened, and it’s April. Mornings are getting cooler which is lovely, but the days are still high 20s. So let’s see what snacks I’ve been getting into from the foodbank shelves.

Been enjoying the vibe of this brewed lemonade, a nice little fizz for up to $1 a can.

Treated myself to buying my own hot cross buns for the long weekend, but got some jelly crystals at the little church for something different. Still got a bag on hot cross buns in the freezer to snack on this week. Unfortunately the foodbank I was planning to go to tomorrow for breads isn’t actually open (having a week off) so won’t be getting any potential HCB leftovers from the weekend.

The Oranges are going strong. So tasty and I get to wear them as mouth guards lol

I thought only the dog would like this fish jerky, but no the boys have been getting into it too.

Waffles! Got these gluten free waffles as a $1frozen from the local place the other week ๐Ÿ™‚ Had them with ice cream and maple syrup that I think came in the Xmas hamper and we’re slowly getting though. Still have a shake and make pancake bottle to use.

Made a “things from the cupboard” dinner last Sunday with things from the cupboard accumulation and a portion of chicken I’d abandoned in the freezer a few weeks ago – butter chicken and rice.

A sweetheart bought a few things off the wishlist, so I’ve been enjoying the fancy porridge and pineapple poppers. THANK YOU!

Let’s talk the price of Spam

Yeah, the actual tinned Spam, not email clutter.

I know you guys love my “tales from the Foodbank” and I was almost thought I was gonna get a score when I saw there was actual Spam at the foodbank this morning. My partner’s gotten keen on it since we got some I think it a Xmas hamper. So I’ve been getting the $2.99 Aldi tinned Spiced Ham, also proudly made in the USA like the original Hormel.

I fry it up in the pan and service it with toast and microwave scrambled eggs for a midday meal in the middle of the boys’ workday when they come back home for lunch and a rest.

Sadly, I got closer and read the price sticker – 2 for $12. Two for $12??? I pay three for the Aldi version, and the full price at Coles and Woollies is $6.80. I didn’t check the dates on these, I do hope they’re long dated since it is tinned. My Aldi ham has a best before of October 2026.

It’s actually “only” $5.40 this week at Coles, too.

So, once again Aldi wins for price in this little competition. They have put a bunch of prices up again lately though, so I need to constantly keep reassessing. And we know that 1.8% indexation is already long gone from out payments.

Just a girl, hanging out in the rain, waiting for the gates to open.